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ETIA Faculty Spotlight: Monika Mayer & Max Popp

The MSc program Environmental Technology & International Affairs welcomes two new faculty members.


Monika Mayer is Senior Scientist at the Institute of Meteorology and Climatology at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU) since 2019. Before joining BOKU she held positions at the Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, and in Austria at the University of Graz, and AVL, the world's largest independent company for the development, simulation and testing of powertrain systems.  Her main research interests are local air pollution climate interactions and spectroscopy (DOAS, Raman). The focus of her current research is on tropospheric ozone burdens, specifically how air quality will be altered in a future climate considering various emission scenarios.

Max Popp received a PhD in Earth Sciences from Hamburg University. Thereafter, he worked as research scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, at Princeton University and NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, and at the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique in Paris. He recently joined the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU) as a senior scientist. His research interests lie in the interaction between diabatic processes and the atmospheric large-scale circulation, climate change and exotic planetary climates.

Monika Mayer and Max Popp currently jointly teach the “Environmental Meteorology” course in the MSc program Environmental Technology and International Affairs. 


What are the key aspects of your lecture? 

MM: "In my part of the course the focus is on understanding the interaction of meteorology and air pollution. We look at the processes driving the transport, dispersion, and deposition of substances released within the surface layer of the Earth’s atmosphere."
MP: "My part of the course focuses on understanding the basic processes that determine Earth's climate and mid-latitude meteorological phenomena."

What is the difference of teaching in the ETIA program compared to a regular study program? 

MM and MP: "The students have diverse backgrounds from science to law or liberal arts. Some have not been in class for several years because they were working."

Any special challenges?

MM and MP: "Finding a way to explain complex contexts simple and descriptive without sophisticated maths. Creating course content that is understandable, interesting and relevant for students with diverse backgrounds."

What do you think are the prospects of graduates on the (international) labor market?

MM and MP: "ETIA Students acquire a large array of skills and knowledge in different fields. In particular, their ability to tackle interdisciplinary scientific and societal challenges is quite unique, and constitutes a substantial advantage on the labor market."

What advice would you give the young men and women?

MM: "Science is a backbone of our society, stay in touch and don’t hesitate to contact people if you have questions."
MP: "Stay informed about the most recent scientific, technological and societal developments."

Anything else you would like to share with (prospective) ETIA students?

MM: "Dare to think out of the box and stay curious!"
MP: "Try to understand why things are happening. It is often more important to understand why things are happening than simply knowing that they are happening."


This interdisciplinary MSc Program is a joint program of the TU Wien and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. It is a pioneering project in its combination of international issues and environmental technology. Further information:, opens an external URL in a new window
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